Mark Reads ‘Wizards at War’: Chapter 7, Part II

In the second half of the seventh chapter of Wizards at War, Dairine makes progress, but discovers something disturbing in the process. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards

Oh, so much happened in such a short span of time! Let’s discuss, cousins.

The Link

Who else here counts themselves a fan of two characters inhabiting the trope of attraction built through fiction and conflict? I wouldn’t say I always love it, but when it’s done right, it is so terribly satisfying. I suspected that Dairine’s relationship with Roshaun wouldn’t always be antagonistic, and that’s partially because the two of them are a lot more similar than they’d probably consider themselves. Of course, the way in which they met one another, coupled with Roshaun’s issues, made things pretty much guaranteed to be caustic. However, their growing friendship over the last book and especially this one has been a lot of fun to watch. There hasn’t been much romance in the Young Wizards books, but I’m prepared to slam my fists down on the table and demand it. That might be more appropriate or sensible to develop in Nita and Kit, since they’re older, but I am at least glad that Duane is acknowledging how complicated and confusing attraction can be at Dairine’s age. Do I think they’ll end up together? Ultimately, no, and it’s more of an age thing than anything else. Even relative to their respective lifespans, Roshaun is much older than Dairine, and I got the sense from this book that she might be a bit uncomfortable with that.

And there’s canonical room for platonic wizard links! These two can still hear one another’s thoughts without there being an ounce of romance, and I love that, too.

New Context

So, here’s another example of why it’s important not to spoil me: I am glad that I was wrong about Roshaun’s father. I drew comparisons between Roshaun’s interaction with Nelaid and Sker’ret’s fight with his parent, and I thought it was interesting that Nelaid did not appear to be affected by the expansion of space. However, I was wrong! The version of Nelaid that I saw was not who he normally was; he was tempered by the phenomenon! Thus, while he may have come off as rational and understanding to me, the confrontation had a completely different meaning to Roshaun. I was relieved by the interaction; he was disturbed by it.

Thanks for taking that and RUINING ME, Diane Duane.

Image Wizardry

There was a point during the long sequence in which the mobiles run that complicated wizardry to locate the being with knowledge of the Instrumentality that I felt… well, let me try to break this down. I can’t claim to understand some of the scientific qualities in the Young Wizards series. I’m just not knowledgable enough to know whether I’m reading about real things or science invented for the novel. For the most part, Duane writes these sequences in a way that must be rewarding for those who know what she’s talking about, but a complete understanding of them isn’t always needed for understanding of the text as a whole. Like, I didn’t need to understand the complexities of black and white holes to love Fred and be devastated by his death.

The same thing applies here. I don’t “get” the science behind some of this, but you bet your ass I knew why it was emotionally striking that the Motherboard was overjoyed to know that Dairine was back. And the end result of this wizardry is such a huge development for the story as a whole! At the same time, I started feeling like… I don’t know, like the book was smarter than I was? I was following along as the spell pulled out the pieces of the Defender’s information, I was following when Dairine had that odd moment of not being able to understand Roshaun, and then… I’d say that bit where Dairine experiences the images “superimpos[ing] themselves on the darkness” that I felt lost. Now, I don’t know if that’s the texts fault or my own! I suspect it’s just me because the section was beautiful to read aloud, and I generally have a difficult time imagining things in a visual sense within my mind. Part of what I like to do with my critical analysis is piece together the information that the author gives. Sometimes, I’m real bad at it. (How many terrible theories have I cobbled together over the years? How often have I read a scene and believed it absolutely meant one thing when it did not?) As a whole, I tend to blame myself, which is perfectly fine. Mark Reads wouldn’t be what it was if it wasn’t filtered through the lens of my experience and knowledge. Which means I GET TO BE HORRIBLY WRONG ALL THE TIME.

So, I suppose I’m turning this outwards. Do passages like this feel weighty and confusing when you read them for the first time, or does this style just totally work for you?

The Instrumentality

So, here’s our first concrete dose of information regarding this weapon… thingy. The person who either has it or has knowledge of where it is is located not terribly far from Earth. But the wizardry that the mobiles constructed allowed them to see through the beings eyes!

One last blur of fog descended, and the image resolved itself into a peculiar view seen through eyes that fringed every object with brilliant rainbows of color. It was a landscape, all in flat dark reds, the sky black with heat.

That isn’t helpful to me because what the hell is all of that. Well, we know that this creature or person or whatever sees their own world in a color spectrum that’s not human. How can a sky be “black with heat”? What does this mean? Yet none of this was as perplexing as the whole “Enthusiasmic incoporation of the Hesper-” bit because WHAT IS SO SCARY ABOUT THIS??? Why must Dairine warn the others? What are they facing? I DON’T GET IT.

I am thrilled to confirm that I will be a Guest at CrossingsCon 2017! Badges are now available, so COME HANG OUT WITH ME THIS SUMMER.

Mark Links Stuff

– Please visit my new site for all announcements. If you’d rather not have to rely on checking a website regularly, sign up for my newsletter instead! This will cover all news for Mark Reads, Mark Watches, and my fiction releases. 

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
This entry was posted in Wizards At War, Young Wizards and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.